Tourism ministry considering strategies for sector's recovery, says Bartlett

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Tourism ministry considering strategies for sector's recovery, says Bartlett

Friday, July 10, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica— Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett says his ministry is considering a number of new strategies to mitigate the economic fallout caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking at a recent Rotary Club of Kingston East & Port Royal meeting, Bartlett said that the effort is being led by the land -based working group of the COVID-19 Tourism Recovery Task Force.

According to the minister, the team has put together a strategy report with recommendations to build resilience along the tourism value chain.

“Jamaica is facing one of the greatest economic challenges of this century. This is why my ministry, agencies and tourism partners are exploring measures to ensure that the tourism sector comes out on the right side of history. In this way, the tourism sector will live up to its potential as a catalyst for economic and social prosperity,” he said.

“One key strategy will be to strengthen linkages and create a tax incentive programme for large-scale farms and warehousing, aimed at purchasing from local farmers and selling in the industry. The investment size would range from US$12 to US$15 million. Also, we are creating an enabling financial environment through collaboration with the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), EXIM Bank and Small and Medium-sized Tourism Enterprises (SMTEs),” Bartlett added.

He also said that the ministry will be exploring the island's “competitive advantages” with the aim of transforming Jamaica into a logistics supply hub for the region's tourism sector.

“We are one of the largest tourist destinations in the Caribbean, we have the largest international airport and have the potential to develop our agriculture and agri-processing, and we are close to the bigger supplier markets: USA, Mexico and the Dominican Republic. We must take advantage of this. In addition, we want to promote island cruises by creating a homeport and moving guests over the island for five to seven days,” he said.

The minister said that the tourism sector will be critical to the island's economic recovery from the negative effects of the pandemic.

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